Author Topic: Quick Linker Format: Element Name Macros in Captions  (Read 1241 times)

Uffe

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Quick Linker Format: Element Name Macros in Captions
« on: May 22, 2018, 10:42:03 pm »
Hi everybody,


The quick linker definition format allows you to specify "captions" or menu item labels, in columns K and L.

It would be useful to be able to use macros which resolve to the source/target element names, eg #SRCNAME#.
The macros should honour the "Use Alias if Available" option in the diagram.

Yes?


/Uffe
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Paolo F Cantoni

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Re: Quick Linker Format: Element Name Macros in Captions
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2018, 11:13:29 am »
Sounds reasonable. 

Can you give examples of how the macros would be used?  Your QuickLinker line and the resultant text on the QuickLinker menu?

What other objects might get placeholders (besides origin/destination element name)?

Paolo
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Eve

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Re: Quick Linker Format: Element Name Macros in Captions
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2018, 11:23:32 am »
Why?

You're just showing the user the same information that they have already selected. How does this vary between the different options shown by the quicklinker? I can't see it being anything except noise for an end user.
Eve

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Uffe

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Re: Quick Linker Format: Element Name Macros in Captions
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2018, 07:16:34 pm »
Can you give examples of how the macros would be used?  Your QuickLinker line and the resultant text on the QuickLinker menu?

Sure. Given a profile with stereotypes <<colour>> (Class) and <<prtrthn>> (Association), a quick linker definition line might read
    Class,colour,Class,colour,,,,Association,prtrthn,to,#SRCNAME# is prettier than #TGTNAME#,,TRUE,,TRUE,TRUE,,0,,,,,0

Used in a model with two <<colour>> Classes 'Coelin Blue' and 'Asda Green', quicklinking a connector from the former to the latter would yield a menu item
    Coelin Blue is prettier than Asda Green

So it saves you having to write captions on the form
    "From" colour is prettier than "To" colour
... which don't exactly roll off the tongue.

Quote
What other objects might get placeholders (besides origin/destination element name)?

In terms of element properties, none that I can see, really. Any information relating to the source/target element types is dealt with by adding separate definition lines.
This facility would add the ability to present information from the individual elements between which the connector is being drawn, and I don't see that anything other than the name (and alias if preferred) would be of much use. Possibly version, status, stuff like that, but I don't have a specific use case for those.

Of course, the recently added _MeaningForwards and _MeaningBackwards connector metaclass attributes could be used to good effect as well. If those were defined as "is prettier than" and "is uglier than" in the example above, you could create macro:ed captions like
    Class,colour,Class,colour,,,,Association,prtrthn,to,#SRCNAME# #MEANINGFWD# #TGTNAME#,,TRUE,,TRUE,TRUE,,0,,,,,0
    Class,colour,Class,colour,,,,Association,prtrthn,from,#SRCNAME# #MEANINGBCK# #TGTNAME#,,TRUE,,TRUE,TRUE,,0,,,,,0


giving you a popup menu with two items
    Coelin Blue is prettier than Asda Green
    Coelin Blue is uglier than Asda Green

... resulting in the same <<prtrthn>> Association being drawn, but in different directions.

Why?

You're just showing the user the same information that they have already selected. How does this vary between the different options shown by the quicklinker? I can't see it being anything except noise for an end user.

Good point, providing that all users is one user, who is fully conversant in the UML metamodel and the quirks of EA, and that the profile is strictly defined in terms of said metamodel as well as fully documented, communicated to, and understood by that user. So for me, yes, it would just be added noise.

But for users who are not modellers by profession or by choice, this is a small but not insignificant productivity enhancer.


/Uffe
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Eve

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Re: Quick Linker Format: Element Name Macros in Captions
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2018, 09:53:17 am »
Pretty much the only part of that I agree with is your spelling of colour.

Why would you write a captions of the form:
    "From" colour is prettier than "To" colour

When you can use the caption:
    "Prettier than

Quote
Of course, the recently added _MeaningForwards and _MeaningBackwards connector metaclass attributes could be used to good effect as well.
They already are if you define validation rules and quicklinker menus using metamodel constraints
Eve

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Uffe

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Re: Quick Linker Format: Element Name Macros in Captions
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2018, 04:35:23 pm »
Why would you write a captions of the form:
    "From" colour is prettier than "To" colour

When you can use the caption:
    "Prettier than

Because I have users, quite a few of them, who understand the long form better.

I fully accept that lines need to be drawn and that's why we discuss suggestions before making actual feature requests, but the "nobody needs that" is boycowpoo. I could name people who do, but I won't because GDPR wooo wooooooooo.

Quote
Quote
Of course, the recently added _MeaningForwards and _MeaningBackwards connector metaclass attributes could be used to good effect as well.
They already are if you define validation rules and quicklinker menus using metamodel constraints

Looks interesting, but that's in 14 and I wasn't planning on approaching the site until the cleanup crews have gone and the sirens have faded into the distance.

That said, I can't see where in the user guide this functionality is described. There's no "Meaning" on the linked page (and read into that...), and the Special Attributes page just plays coy and breathes "and elsewhere" in a seductive whisper. That's not documentation, that's a teaser trailer.

Anyway, I take it that's a hard "no" on my suggestion.


/Uffe
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Eve

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Re: Quick Linker Format: Element Name Macros in Captions
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2018, 03:17:34 pm »
Looks interesting, but that's in 14 and I wasn't planning on approaching the site until the cleanup crews have gone and the sirens have faded into the distance.
Fair enough, but I do want to encourage people to use the latest. Even if your request was implemented though, you would only see it in 14+.

That said, I can't see where in the user guide this functionality is described. There's no "Meaning" on the linked page (and read into that...), and the Special Attributes page just plays coy and breathes "and elsewhere" in a seductive whisper. That's not documentation, that's a teaser trailer.
Until it was used by the metamodel quicklinker function it was only used by the traceability window. I can say it's used by the metamodel derived quicklinkers now, I don't know where it will be used in the future.

Anyway, I take it that's a hard "no" on my suggestion.
I can't give a hard no. But you haven't managed to make me an advocate for the feature. Otherwise I look at it as unlikely.
Eve

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Glassboy

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Re: Quick Linker Format: Element Name Macros in Captions
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2018, 05:37:11 pm »
Because I have users, quite a few of them, who understand the long form better.

Perhaps there are other ways for your users to understand directionality?

Paolo F Cantoni

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Re: Quick Linker Format: Element Name Macros in Captions
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2018, 09:40:20 am »
Because I have users, quite a few of them, who understand the long form better.

Perhaps there are other ways for your users to understand directionality?
I think it's more about helping reduce semantic impedance (is that correct Uffe?).  A long time ago, I understood that some (many?) people have difficulty abstracting.  It is clearer for them to see the concrete form proposed by Uffe as opposed to having to concretise the (more) abstract form proposed by Simon.  It's all about reducing friction for the user.

In fact, we distinguish between the name of the relationship (the most abstract - and noun form) and the caption which describes the (more concrete - and verb form) action of the relationship.  Uffe's version is justs the extension of the action.  We name the metatype after the name, but the Quicklinker after the caption.

Paolo
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... Therefore, aim for consistency; in the expectation of achieving correctness....
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